Wracked about Racks
A couple of years ago, our neighborhood got its first infusion of CityRacks. I wrote about that here. Problem is they've become a victim of their own success. Seen on a rack that I wrote about was the note below. Like the houseguest who comes and squats on the living-room couch with no end in sight, bikes have been chained to the CityRack day in and out, leaving it unusable by others. And inviting terse notes of disapproval.
City policy is moving more and more to accommodating cyclists. It's quite remarkable how relatively more hospitable the city has become to biking in rather short order. (My inner cynic sniffs: "They don't have a choice if the pols aren't going to fix and invest in our infrastructure while encouraging so much new construction; biking is after all a great way to move people under their own steam.")
I am all for doing everything we can to have more people safely cycling, though e-bikes still leave me shaking my head. But for cycling to work here, we need to do a lot more. For example, more bike parking that is safe and accessible for our eco-rides is needed. More CityRacks for short-term lock ups. More space in work buildings and residences for locking up longer term. It's not just Citibikes that need docking. (And yes, I know, you don't want a dock near your building or your favorite bus stop. And it's all daunting the older you get. I am sympathetic. I am.)
But inevitably bikes will propagate. Politicians and the state have not made the subway attractive. Quite the contrary. My employer, a nearby university, recently informed the rank and file that our medical center subway stop will be closed (closed!) for a year for elevator replacement. This will send literally thousands of employees, patients, and even tenured faculty scampering to get to work via alternate modes.
It doesn't take a PhD to figure out that folks will have no choice as the subway degrades but to turn to their bikes, blades, Segways and hoverboards. Global warming and the MTA's continued abuse of straphangers will surely incite more to ride their two-wheelers. Unless Elon Musk, a hyperloop, or George Jetson comes to our rescue, this problem just isn't going away anytime soon.
So think locally, and act locally: if you live in a building with a good curbside spot, you can suggest new locations to the city for more racks. We'll get the ball rolling.
True to name, New Amsterdam needs its bikes!